Milton Caniff – the good, the bad, the ugly

Milton Caniff was a well-known cartoonist.  His cartoons of Terry and the Pirates, and later, Steve Canyon, were extremely popular newspaper strips in their day.  I remember seeing the Steve Canyon strip as a child, even though I didn’t read it.  I was more interested in Stan Lee’s Spider-Man.  Caniff passed away in 1988.
Today, however, Caniff’s name is most often seen in connection with a WWII pamphlet he put together for the US Army entitled: How to Spot a Jap. 


To quote Shakespeare, “the good is oft interred with the bones.”

But not completely interred.  I mentioned this in passing back in March, but there is another pamphlet Caniff put together that isn’t as well-known.  Reading it today, one cringes slightly due to some poliical incorrectness, but overall the message is still praiseworthy.  He put it together for Goodwill Industries.  The Will to Win.

There are a handful of Goodwills around the country that still use the image of Good Willy in their promotions, but very few of them.  Most likely their annual campaign has been going on for decades, and they don’t have the ‘will’ to update the imagery.  Still, Caniff deserves to be praised for this work, and perhaps it counterbalances the propaganda he created for the government.